Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stags lose to Siena

The Stags had a ten point lead with 7:38 left in the game, but turnovers cost them a key win on their home court. Fairfield turned the ball over 21 times, and Siena converted those turnovers into 30 points.

Siena (16-10, 11-5 MAAC) battled back from that ten point deficit to defeat Fairfield )11-17, 9-7 MAAC) 69-64. Siena was led by center Michael Haddix who scored 19 points, while Jonathan Han `09 led the way for Fairfield with 15 points. Anthony Johnson `10 added 14 and 7 rebounds for the Stags.

"Today was really frustrating, we had taken control of the game, but we went scoreless coming down the stretch," said Head Coach Ed Cooley," We literally handed them the ball and gave the game away."

Fairfield was down by three points with 36 seconds left to play, when Danny y turned the ball over in the back court.

"There were some inconsistent calls at a critical time in the game that really was valuable to us," said Cooley. "When you look at the discrepancy in free throws it really indicates that. We didn't play a good game. When they have 30 points off of turnovers, that is the game."

Senior guard Michael Van Schaick was held to just 10 points, as Siena's defense was tough on him all game.

"They were playing physical and running a couple guys at me," said Van Schaick, "But down the stetch we just didn't execute."

Anthony Johnson `10 knocked down an open jump shot two and a half minutes into the game, but the Stags could not score again until the 14:52 mark, when Johnson got the ball down low and scored again to make it 7-4 Siena.

From there the Stags went on a quick run, pulling ahead 14-9 with 12:44 left in the first half. Three pointers by guards Danny Oglesby `07 and Jonathan Han `09 sparked the 10-2 Fairfield run. Oglesby's three pointer was his first since the Fordham game on Dec. 28.

The two teams picked up the scoring, going back and forth for the next ten minutes. Both centers, Michael Haddix for Siena and Anthony Johnson for Fairfield led the way for their teams.

Haddix and Johnson traded baskets three times, until Siena began to take control heading to the end of the half.

The Saints quickened the pace and jumped out to a 33-24 lead with 1:18 left in the half as Haddix grabbed an offensive rebound and layed the ball in, giving him a game-high 14 points in the half.

The Stags cut the lead to 33-29 with a 5-0 run in the final minute, as Oglesby knocked down his second three pointer of the night and Johnson scored on the final possession to give him a team-high 12 points in the first half.

The Stags missed out on many opportunities in the first half. They shot just 13-for-30 in the first half, but Johnson was 6-for-7 from the floor.

While Fairfield turned the ball over one less time (11-10) than Siena, the Saints turned the 10 turnovers into 14 points, the Stags only had six points off of turnovers.

The Stags came out in the second half fast, as Van Schaick started to score for the first time all game. He scored four quick points on two jumpers in the first two minutes and also blocked a three pointer by Tay Fisher on the defensive end.

Siena stayed close until Fairfield went on a four minute, 11-0 run starting with a Han three pointer.

The Saints put on the pressure at the 12:44 mark, but Han dribbled through the pass, sent the ball ahead to Devin Johnson `10, who made a pass to the baseline, where Anthony Johnson drove and slammed home a one-handed dunk, igniting the Fairfield fans.

With 7:38 left in the game, Oglesby made his third three pointer of the game to make the score 58-48 Stags, but Fairfield could not keep pulling away. A 7-0 run by the Saints cut the Stags lead to 58-55 with 3:58 left.

After Han was fouled in the back court, he made one of two free throws on the double bonus. But Marty O'Sullivan `07tipped in the rebound on the miss to put the Stags up 61-57.

That lead would not last for long, as Siena came right back at Fairfield and took the lead 63-62 with 1:07 left in the game on two free throws by Alex Franklin.

Han said that this game will not hurt the Stags momentum heading into the MAAC tournament.

"Every game is a new game and we just have to get over this tough loss and test our character to see how we come back the next game," he said.

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